Melbourne pilgrim has lunch with Pope Francis

Sunday 27 January 2019

Seàn-Patrick Lovett, Vatican News

They couldn’t actually remember what they ate for lunch. Clearly it wasn’t that important. All they really cared about was the fact they were having lunch with Pope Francis himself.

Bedwin from India
Bedwin Taitus is from Kerala, India. He thinks the food they ate was typically Panamanian, and he knows “that it was really tasty”. But that’s all he remembers about the meal itself. “The food was secondary”, he says, “we were too busy concentrating on talking to the Pope!”.

It seems the conversation turned naturally to the question of if and when Pope Francis will make a pastoral visit to India. Bedwin was encouraged when the Pope told him he is “trying to come to India”, and was particularly excited to discover the Pope knew about his home state of Kerala.

Dennis from Australia
Dennis Montano Galdamez is from Melbourne, Australia. He remembers they were offered wine to drink, but he felt it was safer to stick to water. He too was curious to know if and when the Pope might make a trip “down under”. As usual, Pope Francis did not commit himself, but did confirm that he wants to visit Oceania, Indonesia, and countries in Asia. So Dennis who is a member of St Peter Chanel's Parish remains hopeful.
 Dennis Montano Galdamez with Pope Francis in Panama
First and last impressions
Both young men are well aware that, having met the Pope, they will at the centre of attention when they return home. So they have already started practising what they will say when people ask them to describe Pope Francis.

For Bedwin , the Pope is: “very humble, someone to look up to at any second of your life, and someone who reminds us of God’s love”.

For Dennis he is “someone who really wants to get into the problems of young peoples’ lives, but also the problems of humanity’s struggle, against loneliness, corruption”. He is also “someone who is very gentle, very humble.”

But Bedwin hasn’t finished, and jumps in with a last impression about Pope Francis: “He understand everyone’s pain”, he adds, thoughtfully. “Even if it is a little pain, he understands it”.
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